by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4 November 9, 2014 Dayton, Texas
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God;
6 That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
1901 ASV Translation:
5 not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who know not God;
6 that no mantransgress, and wrong his brother in the matter: because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as also weforewarned you and testified.
7 For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification.
8 Therefore he that rejecteth, rejecteth not man, but God, who giveth his Holy Spirit unto you.
I. The Contrasting Negative Regarding How One is to Take Ownership of His/Her Own Body.
A. The "en" is parallel to the one in the preceding verse ("en" holiness and honor).
B. The phrase, "the lust of concupiscence" is the Authorized Version's translation of two words.
1. The first word is "pathos" and it means some form of "suffering"; it comes from the verb used in 2:14 as "suffered".
2. The second word is "epithumia". It was used by Paul in 2:17 to describe the strength of his desire to see the Thessalonians.
3. Neither of the words is automatically of a negative import. Paul is giving the combination of the words a negative import by making it the opposite of "sanctification and honor".
4. The phrase, consequentially, means "not under the potent influence of 'painful' obsession".
a. The word 'painful' derives from Paul's idea of "suffering".
b. The word 'obsession' derives from Paul's idea of "potent desire".
c. The larger question is why Paul included 'painful' in his description.
1) He seems to be acknowledging the fact that, when someone's commitment to something is 'obsessive', any frustration of that obsession results in significant 'pain' of at least one sort -- the pain felt emotionally when frustration is profound (running the gamut from severe depression to extreme rage).
2) Alternatively, he is not unaware of another fact: there will be a significant 'pain' involved for those who satisfy their obsession because there are painful consequences for ungodly behavior.
C. The meaning is illustrated by people who do not know God.
1. Paul's "even as" is a word that he used in 2:11, 3:6, 3:12, and this current text. It means that someone/something is being held up as a methodological example.
2. The reference to the "gentiles who do not know the God" is not a subtle slam against non-Jews, but an appeal to the typical characteristics of God-less cultures.
3. Those who "know not the God" are obsessive on three levels: their spirit's fixation upon being 'honored'; their soul's fixation upon being 'secured'; and their body's fixation upon pleasure.
a. This means that "sex" will be an obsession in every culture that has turned from God to idolatries (thus, Paul's comments in Romans 1:26-31).
b. This means that believers are to view their sex lives with their spouses as a grace gift from God to be received with gratitude.
4. The knowledge of "the God" has been honed by Paul into an awareness that He is the fatherly executor of the powers of "Life" (3:11).
D. The objective of Paul's instruction.
1. To protect the "brother".
a. The idea of sexual immorality is the idea of sexual expression outside of the boundaries of marriage between a man and a woman.
b. This idea automatically means that "someone" is going to be victimized by anyone who does not stay in bounds.
1) The word translated "go beyond" is only used here in the New Testament but it creates a word picture of someone "stepping beyond".
2) The word translated "defraud" is used by Paul in 2 Corinthians within contexts that indicate a misuse of someone for personal gain in some form.
3) The words combine to form the idea that someone might step beyond the boundaries of legitimacy and, therefore, misuse someone for their own private gain (a pertinent picture of all who use sex with pleasure for themselves as the goal, rather than being considerate of one's spouse).
2. To protect the believer him/herself.
a. Paul's instruction is not just about protecting a victim.
b. According to his words, "the Lord" is an avenger of all such persons. The idea here is that God will execute vengeance upon the transgressor: believers are not exempt from being subjected to this vengeance.
c. Thus, Paul's interest is upon both the "brother" and the "executor of the evil".
E. The static truth behind the instruction: the "call" of God is unto "sanctification", not "uncleanness".